What’s the importance of honoring the complexity and fullness of emotions especially experienced by BIPOC in the wake of racial bias? To fit social norms, people grow up hearing, “don’t be too ____” (loud, quiet, angry, sad) — while this is true for most people, at EQ Live, we recently discussed how this pressure is magnified by racism.
Racism denies full emotional expression, in part because of physical danger, for example if a Black person shows anger it sometimes, far too often, leads to retaliation from police officers. There are also emotional dangers — for example, the pervasive stereotype of Black women as angry can lead some Black women to reject their own anger as a way of rejecting the stereotype. In other words, emotional constraints placed upon BIPOC communities contribute to an experience of dehumanization that follows as a byproduct of racial bias.
Then there’s communication. In a polarized society in the US, are white people willing to hear the anger and pain that Black people have experienced? Are people of multiple races open to giving the emotional-grace to honor one another’s feelings, and to feel and heal together?
Karen T. Craddock is an Applied Psychologist, certified EQ Practitioner and personal/executive coach. She has special interest in issues of equity & wellness, leadership & partnership, and capacity building across sectors. Her practice is grounded in psycho-emotional functioning, relational-cultural theory and connection which include explorations of race/gender, resilience, creative expression and the neuroscience of inclusion. Dr. Craddock is a Visiting Scholar at the Wellesley College Centers for Women and is co-founder of The Wellness Collaborative, Inc. focusing on interdisciplinary initiatives and learning platforms that address disparities and uplift strengths. Among her writing and editorial works include Black Motherhoods: Contours, Contexts and Considerations, ‘Why Racialized Exclusion Hurts and How We Can Remain Resilient, and Social and Emotional Learning During COVID-19 Crisis: Equity Lens Reflection. Karen is steering member/chair of the equity & inclusion committee for the Social-Emotional Learning Alliance for Massachusetts, as well as National Advisor for Social-Emotional Learning for the United States.
Charity Goodwin is a Pastor and Empowerment and Leadership Coach with a demonstrated history of working in the religious institutions industry. She’s the author of the devotional journal, GET UP: Unearthing your Passion and Taking Brave Action in 50 Days. Charity is skilled in Pastoral Theology, Pastoral Counseling, Community Organizing, Preaching, and Church Growth. Strong community and social services professional with a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) focused in Theology and Religious Vocations from Saint Paul School of Theology. Charity lives in St. Louis, Mo where she serves as the Clayton Site Pastor of The Gathering United Methodist Church.
Joshua Freedman, cofounder and CEO, The Six Seconds Emotional Intelligence Network, working since 1997 toward a world with more EQ. Josh is a Master Certified Coach and author of the best-selling At the Heart of Leadership
- Before you started actively learning about emotions and EQ… how did your lived experience inform your understanding of feelings?
- In your coaching & counseling, what are some themes you’re hearing from Black people in relation to emotions?
- In recent months, some white folks, myself included, have become a little more aware of the intensity of racism in the US, and might say things like, “I didn’t know” or even, “I’m shocked.” How does that land with you?
- What are the systems and patterns of racism that push BIPOC to deny aspects of themselves? How do we overcome that?
- To deconstruct the dehumanizing effects of racism is a vast challenge. If you could teach one key skill or one key idea that could help us take a step in that direction… what would you share?
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